Tomorrow morning I will be running my second race of the year. It will also be my second 10 km race of the year. Since 2011 the St. Patrick’s Day 10 km race has been a part of my training for the Ottawa Marathon in May.
I know for some of you it may seem odd that I register for a race that I do not really have a goal for. For me it actually makes sense and fits in with my training approach. It is a way to judge where I am at with my training for the marathon at this point.
The best part about this race is that the start and finish line is just a few blocks away from my house. As a result, it does not really take much of a commitment and my family can come out to watch the end of the race.
In terms of a goal, I guess what I would really like to accomplish is a time close to what I did in my first 10 km race this year back in January (41:06) and my result in this race last year (40:56). As long as I am not too far off those results I will be pleased with my run.
The one wildcard with this race is the weather. I’ve run this race in the snow and cold an there also was at least one year where I ran in short sleeves. Judging by the forecast tomorrow is going to be a decent day for running despite the fact than it will be colder than it has been the rest of the week (a high of 0C, 32F in the forecast).
Tomorrow morning will be my first race of the year. I’ve made it a bit of a tradition to start off the race season with the 10 km St. Patrick’s Day race.
Partly because there are not many options earlier in the year before it and also because the start and finish line is only a few blocks from my house tomorrow will be my fourth consecutive year doing this race.
My approach to this race is to use it as a tune-up race for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. I’ve managed decent times in this race I have not set any personal bests doing it. I view it more as an opportunity to see where my fitness is at early in the season.
Last year I managed my fastest time in the race with a 41:20 finish. It would be nice to beat that time but I am not sure I am quite at that point yet after my layoff in November.
Tomorrow I plan to leave my Garmin at home and just run based on feel. It will be my first attempt at running a race that way. Since this is not a goal race I want to see if running without a watch makes a difference in my approach during a race.
As mentioned last week, yesterday was my next scheduled run. As I have done for the last three years now, I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 10 km race using it as a training run for my spring marathon training.
The biggest advantage to this race is that the start and finish line is located a few blocks from my house so I wake up at my usual time, have breakfast then head over at the last minute. For me that is the biggest selling point to this race.
Yesterday’s weather was the complete opposite of the conditions we had last year when it got up to 15-16 degrees during the day. Yesterday it was -11 when I headed out the door. It was cool but fine once I started running.
The course is an out and back along the Rideau Canal. Since I am very familiar with this route. I run at least part of this course at least 3-4 times per week. It is a relatively flat course with a couple of small hills along the way.
As mentioned last week, my plan for yesterday was to run at about a 4:15/km pace. The reason for this is that, as was the case last year, I am aiming for a 1:29-1:30 half-marathon in April. Last year I finished this race in 43:27. Yesterday I finished it in 42:57.
I am pleased with the result because I stuck to my plan and resisted the temptation to push harder in order to finish quicker. That said, since I have not focused much on 10 km races I am now tempted to throw one into my schedule at a point when I can aim for a PB in order to see what I could do at the distance.
Next up for me now is the Around the Bay 30 km next weekend which I am planning to run at my goal marathon pace of 4:30/km.
Yesterday I added a new race to my calendar for this year. I decided to register for the 10 km St Patrick’s day race I have done the last two years. I had not initially planned to run this one because I was more focused about Around the Bay the following weekend but as the date got closer the urge to register got stronger, especially since I can walk to the start line from my house.
Now I have registered and will be running the 10 km for the third year in a row. Last year when I ran this race I ran it in just over 43 minutes, at a 4:15/km pace. The reason for that is that it is the pace needed to run a 1:30 half-marathon in April which is what I did last year and plan to aim for again next month.
My strategy for Saturday’s 10 km race as well as the 30 km next week and the half-marathon in April will hopefully help get me ready to run the Ottawa Marathon in May at my goal pace which is 3:10, or 4:30/km.
I think this approach was beneficial in to my preparation for last year’s Ottawa Marathon so once again I am hoping that using this strategy for earlier races will leave me in better position to meet my goal in May.
What are your upcoming race plans?
Week five of training is nearly complete. Already it has been a better week in terms of mileage than last week turned out to be. Despite the fact that I was not able to get in a long run on Sunday I have already managed to fit in 64 km this week thanks in large part to three two run days. Tomorrow’s run will push me over 70 km for the week for the first time in a while.
I mentioned using two run days to build my mileage. I did that on three occasions this week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allowed me to get in daily mileage of 17, 15.8 and 14.3 km. For me it is the easiest way to fit in extra mileage during the week and as I have mentioned before, running at lunch is a great way to break up the work day.
While the week was good in terms of mileage it was also the first week in several weeks when I did not manage to get in a speed workout at the dome. I could not make it to the dome last night but tried to make up for with my tempo runs this week. On Monday and Wednesday I made sure one of my two runs was at a tempo pace and I also fit in an extra tempo run yesterday.
As I look ahead to week six I now find myself with a decision to make. Next Saturday is the annual St Patrick’s Day race I have done the past few years. I have not yet registered for this year’s race because I am running the Around the Bay 30 km race the following Sunday. Now that race day is near and the start line is down the street from my house I am getting the urge to register. What do you think. Is it worth registering and running a 10 km race at my goal marathon pace a week before I plan to run a 30 km race at my goal marathon pace?
How was your week?
Yesterday was the first of three races I have leading up to this year’s Ottawa Marathon. My goal in the races will be to see whether I feel I should start the marathon at a 3:10 or 3:15 pace. As part of that my plan is to try and run a half-marathon at a 1:30 pace next month.
Yesterday’s plan was to simply run at a 1:30 half pace which works out to 4:15 per km and 42:40 for a 10 km. I managed to line up near the front and got off to a fast start but quickly dropped back to my intended 4:15 pace. I managed top stick around that pace for most of the race until I picked up the pace for a final sprint over the last 200-300 m.
The result was a final time of 43:27. More importantly, I felt good running at that pace and felt like I could have kept going past 10 km at that pace and definitely could have run a quicker 10 km had that been the goal.
Next up is the half-marathon in just under a month from now. That will provide me with a good test of whether I should aim for 3:10 or 3:15 in the marathon.
How was you weekend? Did you run any races?
Week six is nearly complete. All that remains is a 10 km race tomorrow, you can read about that here. Tomorrow’s race will leave me with just over 70 km for the week which close to what I expected based on my training schedule.
The week started off with a 24 km run (15 mile) on Sunday. It was my first run longer than a half-marathon distance in a while. It also turned out to be my first run outside in shorts of the year so it was a good way to start the week on two accounts.
In terms of higher tempo workouts, I managed to get in a good tempo run Tuesday with 9 km in 40 minutes and last night I went for my weekly speed intervals at the dome. This week’s workout ended up being 6 x 1200. Based on those two workouts along it was a good week and it could get even better depending on the result of tomorrow’s 10 km race.
Week 7 kicks off with a 25 km (16 mile) run Sunday morning. I just took a look at the mileage on my training schedule and I still have 669 km (416 miles) before the Ottawa Marathon on May 27. The heavy mileage weeks are just getting started!
How did your training go this week?
As previously mentioned on here, Saturday will be my first race of the year. I’ll be running the St Patrick’s Day 10 km race. The race will be my first in a series of shorter races leading up to the Ottawa Marathon in May.
My goal in the marathon is to run a 3:10 which is my current Boston qualifying time. In order to assess whether that is attainable I will be aiming for a 1:30 half-marathon time in the Minto Run for Reach half-marathon next month. If I can’t hit 1:30 next month I’ll re-assess my goal and likely aim for a time around 3:15 in the Ottawa Marathon.
As a result, my goal for Saturday is to run my half-marathon pace. For a 10 km race that works out to a pace of 4:15/km for a time of 42:40. Saturday should prove to be a good test of whether I am ready to run a 1:30 half next month which will in turn will test whether I should aim for a 3:10 or 3:15 marathon in May.
I mentioned earlier that my plan was to run two 10 km race and one half-marathon before the Ottawa Marathon in May. This is the same race strategy I used to get ready for last year’s Ottawa Marathon.
I signed up for one of the 10 km races last month and tonight signed up for the other one as well as for the half-marathon – the Ottawa St Patrick’s Day 10 km race and the Minto Run for Reach half-marathon. Now I have to hope this strategy is beneficial to my marathon training.
The great thing about all of these races is that they start and finish close to my house. The two 10 km races start at finish at the high school that is about three blocks from my house and the half-marathon is not much farther.
While the St Patrick’s Day 10 km will just be an attempt at a pb in the 10 km the other two races will also provide me with the challenge of racing on tired legs as both of those races fall on days when I am scheduled to run 32 km (20 miles).
Like I did last year I plan on making up the mileage by going for an extra easy run before the race. The hope here is that running at race pace with tired legs will help me in the later stages of the marathon in May.
What are your race plans?
Now that we are into 2012 my race schedule for the first half of the year is getting clearer as registration information is starting to pop up online for races that had not already done so.
The first half of this year looks like it will be identical to the first half of last year in terms of races. Unless I end up registering for a race in January or February I will be doing the same four races I did between January and May of last year.
The reason I am planning to do the same four races is simple, they are all close to home. Two of them start and finish at a high school that is three blocks from my house while the start lines for the other two are not much farther down the street. I like traveling out of town for races but it is hard to beat the convenience of having races that start so close to my front door.
The first race of the year will be the Ottawa St. Patrick’s Day run. You can read my review of last year’s race here. Since this one falls early in my marathon training schedule my approach will be the same, go out and race as hard as I can and see if I can beat my current 10 km PB of 43:14.
Race number two will be the Minto Run for Reach half-marathon. Since this one falls on the day of one of my scheduled 32 km, or 20 mile, training runs my approach will once again be to get up early and get in and easy 10 km before the half-marathon. I’ll then see how hard I can run the half-marathon on tired legs. You can read my review of last year’s race here.
Race number four will be the Ottawa Physio Run 10 km the following week. Since this one also falls on the day of a scheduled 32 km training run I’ll either get in some easy mileage before or after the race or I’ll do my long run on Saturday like I did last year. You can read my review of last year’s race here.
Of course, all of this is meant to get me ready for the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. I had some success with this race schedule last year and am hoping it will payoff again this year.
What are your race plans for the first half of 2012?